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Drop Down Panel Stops Mower Stone-Throwing
With the touch of a button, Nathan Goldschmidt can stop his mower from throwing grass and stones. His powered drop-panel attachment drops down quickly to cover the chute opening as needed.
  “When I ran a lawn service, it was always a problem when grass flew out across a sidewalk or rocks got thrown,” recalls Goldschmidt. “I wanted a way to close off the grass chute or to partially shut it down.”
  After returning from a tour in Afghanistan, he and his dad came up with a solution. “We use two solenoids to close the panel and a spring to open it when the solenoids are turned off,” says Goldschmidt. “Initially, we used an internal hinge, but it took too much power for the solenoids to close it. The external hinge works better.”
  Currently Goldschmidt has a switch for the solenoids by the mower ignition key. However, he plans to relocate it to the steering handle for faster reaction time by the operator.
  “It will close in half a second, no matter how much grass is coming out,” he says. “The two solenoids have a total pull of about 30 lbs.”
  Originally, he used a double layer of mud flap material for the 6-in. wide by 13-in. long panel. He is switching to ABS plastic to reduce grass buildup. Regardless of the material, Goldschmidt means for the panel to be the weak link in his attachment.    “I wanted the hinge really strong and the panel weak,” he says. “If the operator drives into something with the panel extended, it will give. The hinge and other components won’t be damaged. Replacing the plastic is cheap and easy.”
  Goldschmidt has attachments designed for Toro and Cub Cadet zero-turn mowers. He’ll work on other decks if there is demand.     Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Logan Goldschmidt, 4809 Hwy FF, Fisk, Mo. 63940 (ph 573 772-0095; logangoldschmidt@hotmail.com).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6